The ‘Zen’ Approach

To those of you who have no idea what I am going on about, Zen ‘theories’ approach etc is about simplifying minimalist approach.
So how does this affect me?
Well here’s the rub. I love technology but I also love the ‘old fashioned way, the simpler way.
Hence even with computers. I use every day but they are tools. Not really fun any more.
Now the old pcs were fun. you actually had to get your hands dirty.
Machine code, peeking and poking memory addresses etc.
When I first started with computers, I had a ZX81. borrowed form work to ‘learn about computers’!
The first home computer I had was a Dragon 32.
I loved the Dragon. Propper keyboard! lol
I do not own that Dragon any more but I have many Dragon computers now Both the 32 and 64 versions. Complete with a large selection of software and operating systems.
One of the things that drew me to the Dragon was that they offered different Operating systems. O/S9 and FLEX are available for the 64K version.
Forth, Pascal and Lisp are available on cassette.
Now its easy to think with our modern computers that have terrabytes of storage and gigabytes of ram that the older computers are of no use.
Well remember we went to the moon on just 4K of RAM !!
you modern phone has far more computing power then the moon shots used.
So these old computers to me are like a ‘classic car’. Can be lots of work and need constant attention, but are LOADS of fun.
So what has this got to do with ZEN?
Well my workshop (like any tech guy) is bursting at the seams with JUNK valuable parts.
I have my servers, my radio ham gear, my photographic gear, books etc etc. Also anything my wife can’t find a home for, gets put in ‘the workshop’ lol.
This means that I can hardly get through the door.
I am moving my workshop to another room in the house. This is because the workshop is at the front of the house and gets all the sun. this is costing me a fair amount to cool the room down to stop the servers overheating.
I have an air conditioning unit, but I would like to not need to use it.
Now the back of the house is conciderably cooler. So that is where I am going to move my workshop. The silly thing is, when we moved into the house twenty years ago, that is where it was orignially!
But family takes priority and it got moved around the house. now each time it moved, of course all the network cabling and power etc had to be moved, rerouted etc.
some of the cables must be getting dizzy by now lol.
Why don’t I just use wireless for the network?
Well from where I sit in the Louge, I can pick up 20 (yes 20!) different wifi systems. Some not even secure!
Any radio ham will tell you tow (or more) radio signals transmitting within range will interfere with each other.
So twenty different wifi’s  all within range of each other and on similar frequencies….
Well they don’t help each other thats for sure!
So I use wired networks. They are faster (1gigabit) and more secure(unless someone cuts into the cable that is).
I like my computers. I like retro stuff. So I run many old operating systems. I have a novell netware 3.12 (the one I like the best), nearlly all the versions of Windows(right back to version one) Same with DOS. Plus many others. Now at one time I had loads of old computers. Each one with an Os on it. This took up far too much space. The heat form the monitors alone would heat the house!
This has been reduced to one BIG machine with a lot of virtual machine son them.
This way I have a lot of them running and available when I want to use them and the others are ready just waiting to switch on.
The space and power saving is phenominal.
If you have ever wanted to play around with another OS (say Linux), Try installing either virtualbox or VMWare. Both have free versions that allow you to run another OS on your PC(or Mac).
This seems to be at odds with the ZEN philosophy. Well there’s the problem. It is lol
So I have this conflict all the time within me. Simplify/have the things I want to learn/use.
It will be a conflict I will have all my life. but whilst the two philosophies may seem incompatable, they can co-exist.In a way, concolidating all my computers, is ‘simplifying’.
Yes I could just gwet rid of them and have one computer. But I WANT to use these old OS’s. so this is a way I can without taking up too much space and power.
Alan